University of Mobile Hosts ‘Pressing Matters’ by Artist Jessica Smith

Anna Newman News

MOBILE, Ala. – “Mold-making is my effort to celebrate systems of mass-production while recognizing the tender reality that each cast offers slight fluctuations,” said artist Jessica Smith. This representation of the American candy culture, combined with Smith’s own point of view, will be on display starting March 5 in the Pressing Matters exhibit in the Alabama School of the Arts at University of Mobile.

The public is invited to view this exhibit during gallery hours. Admission is free. Pressing Matters will be on display weekdays through April 4, Mondays – Fridays, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Martin Gallery on campus.

Smith will discuss her work at a free artist talk at 11 a.m. on April 4.

The inspiration for Smith’s tessellating sculptures comes from the American candy culture. She uses a press-mold to create clay gummy bears replicating a childhood candy preference.

Smith explained how, through the pressing process, the clay “experiences rebirth” in comparison to the clay reclaiming process.

“Ultimately, there is an erosion of the original mold because a mold breaks down the more it is used,” said Smith. “These sculptural forms speak toward obsessive compulsion and the comfort of smallness.”

She said because ceramics is a material which “responds to its environment,” the pieces must be sculpted with care, stored with caution, and confidently blazed to completion.

“I find joy in making sense of this sculptural space that toes the line between balanced precision and the edge of chaos,” Smith said.

For information about the exhibit or visual arts events in the Alabama School of the Arts, contact Philip Counselman, chair of the Department of Art, at 251.442.2283 or

About University of Mobile

University of Mobile is a Christ-centered liberal arts and sciences institution with a vision of higher education for a higher purpose, founded to honor God by equipping students for their future professions through rigorous academic preparation and spiritual transformation. Core values are: Christ-Centered, Academically-Focused, Student-Devoted and Distinctively-Driven. The university offers on-campus and online bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs in over 90 areas of study. Founded in 1961, University of Mobile is affiliated with the Alabama Baptist State Convention and is located 10 miles north of Mobile, Alabama on a campus of over 880 acres.

For more information about University of Mobile, visit the website at or call Enrollment Services at 1.800.WIN.RAMS or 251.442.2222.

About the Author

Anna Newman

Anna Newman is a communications intern in the Office for Marketing & Public Relations and a resident assistant at University of Mobile. She will graduate in May 2019 with a Bachelor of Science in Communication and a minor in history. She served on the Campus Activities Board at UM, where her passion for creating fun environments for students and the inspiration to become an RA began. Anna loves watching movies with her fiancé, whom she will marry in May. She enjoys authentic Italian food, spending quality time with friends and loved ones, as well as finding fun ways to stay active.